Authorizations, license

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Today's lesson, boys and girls, is about rules. We all need rules to maintain an orderly society. It is for the greater good that we all adhere to a common set of regulations.

Some rules are obvious: don't kill, rob or steal.

Others are a little murky: "For the 2007-2008 campaign season, a multicandidate PAC may contribute $5,000 to each candidate or candidate committee per election, wherein a multicandidate committee is defined as a political committee with more than 50 contributors which has been registered for at least 6 months and, with the exception of state party committees, has made contributions to 5 or more candidates for federal office."

Yesterday I posted an image that I felt best represented myself for that day -- all black. I didn't see anyone and I didn't really want to be seen. I wanted to hide. I thought blackness kinda summed it up best. I still do.

But the 365 admins disagreed. I was told it was removed from the group, with apologies for my having a bad day, because it didn't show any part of me. I reposted it and complained in terms that, while I am not proud of them, were, nonetheless, heartfelt.

I had a frank f-mail exchange w/ the group founder, and while I disagree with portions of how he portrayed my posting, I see his point. One must show some identifiable part of one's self for it to count as a pool photo. Lines must be drawn, lest chaos ensue.

I would quibble about artistic license, but that would only be met with some form of "there are plenty of other groups for that" or "just don't post for a day or two."

Well, just as one might argue that maintaining a vision of integrity or purity of the group is the highest virtue here, I don't see what I posted as disingenuous to the mission of the 365 challenge or in any way disrespectful to the other 3100+ participants.

I certainly did not post an off topic pic intentionally or as any sort of affront to the group. But some said that's exactly what I had done.

So I have learned today that even a really fun and wonderful experience like the 365 group has rules and regulations to be followed for the greater good of all participants. And they will come down on you like a hammer if you get out of line.

[OK, cue the "Battle Hymn of the Republic" about right here]

I don't always conduct myself in a manner I'd want others to follow. And I rarely am moved to the point of genuine anger by anything. But I lost my cool today and apologize to those involved for that.

There are not may things in my life that I am consistent with. I don't eat right -- even with our family history of heart disease it is a struggle -- I don't exercise enough, I don't spend enough time with my daughter or my parents, now that their time is growing short.

But a very dear friend got me a camera last May for my birthday and I have found in it and in myself a joy I have not felt in a long, long time. I feel so free to express myself and explore the world around me with my camera that I can hardly believe I am doing it. Sometimes I find I have captured the most amazing, surprising and beautiful things with it -- and often without even realizing it at the time.

I don't pretend to be a great photographer, but I am learning that what I capture with my camera is uniquely mine. And I like that. And it is just icing on the cake that others occasionally take notice and appreciate a shot here and there, too.

The marriage of my explorations with the camera and taking up the daily challenge of the 365 group is about the only true and consistent thing in my life right now. I think that is why I reacted so animatedly when my entry for Sunday was removed. I felt like it was *me* that was being removed and I didn't much care for it.

So, I will just try henceforth and forevermore to abide by the rules. But if I find that too constraining, then I will just stop posting to the group. I sincerely hope that doesn't happen. The friendships I have made here are unique in my life and run the gamut of people, personalities -- even countries -- and I